Sea of Dreams by Cixin Liu – A Graphic Novel Review

Sea of Dreams


It was the Ice and Snow Arts Festival that lured the low-temperature artist to Earth. Drawn by the beauty and technical skill of the sculptures displayed, the extraterrestrial visitor longed to collaborate and share its own art.

But while humans learnt to craft ice into exquisite ephemera, the low-temperature artist’s civilisation mastered the manipulation of whole worlds to create artworks – drawing on the seas and ice caps, and cooling their temperature to beautiful effect.

Faced with the inevitable devastation and heat death of their planet, humankind must use their final breaths to fight for existence. But the artist will only speak to one human: Yan Dong, the ice sculptor whose beautiful work first drew its eye.

Author Cixin Liu

Illustrator: Jok

Publisher: Head of Zeus

Pages: 98

Release Date: 05/08/2021

My Chosen Format: Hard Copy

My Rating of ‘Sea of Dreams’: 2 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon


I received a copy of this graphic novel for free in exchange for an honest review.

This will only be a very short review due to this being a very short work.

This is one of those books that made me breathe a sigh of relief and think ‘at least it’s short’. The only thing I enjoyed about this graphic novel was the artwork. The art is great, especially the cover (which is a piece of art in itself).

Sadly, the rest of the book didn’t have much going for it as far as I was concerned. The dialogue was poor and didn’t really feel natural. The choices made by characters seemed bizarre (I can’t fathom a world in which we are under threat from an alien entity and countries such as the US essentially say ‘go on China, you have a chat with it. We’ll just sit here and twiddle our thumbs’). The fact the alien entity was fluent in Chinese, yet was never explained as to how this was, also felt a bit jarring.

I know this was adapted, as are the others in the series, from short works by Cixin Liu. I have never read those works so I can’t describe whether it was a poor adaption or whether the subject material is equally lacking. What I can say is that everything felt either forced or just as though it shouldn’t have been there. The random time skips, without any real mention of how much time had passed, didn’t help either.

The disappointing thing is, with my not enjoying this, I doubt I’ll ever entertain the notion of trying more of the author’s work. A shame as there seems to be a lot of good said about his novels/short fiction. To me it felt more like this was done as a money spinning effort due to the name value of the author rather than any real literary merit.

TLDR: The only thing that saved this from a 1 star was the art work.

4 thoughts on “Sea of Dreams by Cixin Liu – A Graphic Novel Review

    1. Oh, it was obvious of that when the whole world just let China take centre stage without so much as a ‘but we could do this instead’.

      The overall message is one of ‘imagine what we could do if we worked together to look after our planet rather than fought’ … but it’s delivered in such a juvenile, forced way that renders it laughable

      Liked by 1 person

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